Paulson, Soros Tops In Hedge Fund Manager Pay

Apr 17 2008 | 7:27am ET

Last year was a very good year for John Paulson. The Paulson & Co. boss—whose hedge funds posted triple-digit returns in 2007—made $3.7 billion, $800 million more than any other hedge fund manager.

George Soros came in second in Alpha magazine’s annual ranking of the top 25 hedge fund managers with $2.9 billion in estimated earnings. Last year’s number one, Renaissance Technologies’ James Simons, placed third with $2.8 billion.

According to Alpha, which makes its estimates based on assets under management, fees, returns, personal investments in the funds and firm ownership, average pay for the top 25 soared 68% to $892 million last year. The top five managers each made more than $1 billion; the minimum income for entry into the very exclusive club was $210 million, earned by David Shaw of D.E. Shaw & Co.

Harbinger Capital Partners’ Philip Falcone was fourth on the list with $1.7 billion and Citadel Investment Group’s Kenneth Griffin came in fifth with $1.5 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 are SAC Capital Advisor’s Steven Cohen ($900 million), Atticus Capital’s Timothy Barakett ($750 million), Lone Pine Capital’s Stephen Mandel ($710 million), Blue Ridge Capital’s John Griffin ($625 million) and Viking Global Investors’ Andreas Halvorsen ($520 million).

Five of last year’s top 25 slipped off this year’s list.

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    One of the most unique charity benefits in the hedge fund industry, A Leg To Stand On's (ALTSO's) Hedge Fund Rocktoberfest - NYC, raised nearly $500,000 last Thursday thanks to the generous support of major sponsors and nearly 1,400 attendees from the Tri-State finance, business and hedge fund communities. Read more…